The fire in Ateca was caused by a spark from one of the excavators of the reforestation company Land Life, which at four o’clock in the afternoon made the holes for planting trees in one of its projects in Zaragoza. The fire has already devoured more than 14,000 hectares since last Monday 18, but right now it evolves favorably.
Reforestation work was being carried out by a local contractor who, according to Land Life, was fully licensed and all relevant measures were being taken at the highest risk of fire “We would like to point out that the contractor, a local company with a long history in the area, had the relevant permits issued by the local and regional authorities. From Land Life we require our contractors to follow the preventive measures recommended by the authorities in these extreme conditions of drought and heat”.
In the statement published on their website, they assert that the works that were being carried out on the Dehesa del Monegrillo estate, in the terms of Ateca and Bubierca, had the relevant authorizations. The company has insisted that an investigation has been opened to “clarify what happened and clear up responsibilities”. They have also insisted that “as soon as this investigation yields results we will bring them to the attention of the authorities and public opinion”.
Antonio Borque, mayor of Bubierca, has criticized the company’s forestry work in the central hours of the day and in full heat wave, the origin of the fire started on Monday between its municipal area and Ateca, which has forced to evacuate several villages. Besides, it wasn’t the first time this had happened. On June 20, the same company, doing the same work, caused another fire in the area where 20 hectares burned. However, they continued to work there. The mayor has been very upset by this fact “it is not right that it happens once and they continue working,” he said.
“We sympathize with the sentiment of the local population as they are evacuated from their homes and their environment severely damaged” added Francisco Purroy, director of Land Life. Lamenting the six villages that had to be evacuated because of the fire. ” Land Life was born with the firm mission of restoring degraded land around the world to recover nature and support wildlife and biodiversity”. The fire has also caused incidents on the road.